Whether you’re simply adjusting to life with COVID in the community, working from home, in isolation or quarantine – eating well is a strategy we can all use to support our health and wellbeing.
Eating well helps to provide essential nutrients, gives us energy and helps to strengthen our immune system. Eating well helps us sleep better, improves concentration, reduces stress and helps us maintain good health and wellbeing.
Making eating well part of your daily routine can also help to provide a sense of normality, control and routine to your day to day life.
Read our four tips for eating well when working from home more or during home isolation or quarantine.
1. Set regular mealtimes
Setting mealtimes into your daily routine can help being a sense of normality, control and routine to your day.
Regular mealtimes can also help you to curb unnecessary snacking, which can be harder to avoid when they pantry and fridge are in easy reach!
If you do snack, go for a handful of unsalted nuts, a cup of veggie sticks, or a small plate of cut up fruit to curb those cravings. Find out more about healthy snack options or food swaps.
2. Plan ahead where possible
Eating well is easier (and usually cheaper) with some planning.
Plan your meals ahead and shop with a list to ensure you’re getting the right ingredients for a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner meals to minimise food wastage and cost.
Try to limit the amount of ‘sometimes foods’ you have available in your pantry and fridge. This includes foods such as chips, biscuits, chocolate or flavoured sugary drinks. While sometimes foods can be enjoyed occasionally and in small amounts, they can be tempting if always on hand, so try to avoid stocking them in your pantry in the first place.
If you are in isolation or instructed to quarantine because of COVID, you won't be able to go shopping for food. You may be able to purchase supplies online or get a friend, neighbour or family member to help out.
Find advice about isolating and quarantine via SA Health’s website.
3. Fresh, canned or frozen - it's about the mix
Having a range of fresh, frozen and canned fruit and vegetables on hand is a good way to ensure you continue to eat well even if you’re not able to visit the shops (or shop as often).
- When meal planning, try to use fresh fruit and vegetables first as they have a shorter shelf life
- Frozen veggies have a longer shelf life than fresh options and can be just as healthy. Try steaming some frozen vegetables in the microwave as a side or adding to stir fry.
- Canned vegetables, beans or fruit have an extra long shelf life, so they are perfect for your pantry. When buying canned vegetables and legumes (like beans or lentils), choose options that are marked ‘no added salt’, ‘low-salt’ or ‘salt-reduced’. Choose fruit canned in juice rather than in syrup.
4. Brush up on your cooking skills and get inspired
Cooking more at home has been a silver lining for many people during COVID. If you’re staying at home for longer periods, now is the perfect time to brush up on your cooking skills and try some new foods and recipes.
Cooking together as a family and with children can be a great way to socially connect while teaching children new life skills, promoting healthy habits and helping to keep them occupied.
Need some extra support?
- If you’re in need help to access food and necessities, visit the South Australian Government’s Care and Support page for information about available services and support.
- Need some extra COVID-19 mental health support? Reach out for help if you need extra support – services are available to help you or someone you care for.